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FAQs about Tanks, Stands, Covers for Marine Systems 4

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Related FAQs: Tanks/Stands/Covers, Tanks/Stands/Covers 2, Tanks/Stands/Covers 3, FAQs on Commercial, Custom Tank: Design, Shape, Materials: Acrylic, Glass, Other... Tools, Location, By Make/Brand/Manufacturer Name, & FAQs on DIY Tank & Sump : Design, Shape/Size, Materials, Tools/Construction/Sealants, Plumbing... DIY Acrylic Tanks, DIY Glass Tanks, DIY Wood Tanks, DIY Other Material Tanks... & Aquarium Stands 1, Aquarium Stands 2, What to Use, About Floors Underneath, DIY, Finishing/Coating, Commercial, Leveling, Modification, Repair, & Canopies, Canopies 2, & Aquarium Repair 1, Acrylic Aquarium RepairUsed Aquarium Gear,

Bargain hunting: Nothing to go on.....1/1/2010
Dear Crew,
Are there any cheap websites that have 30-40 gallon tanks, have low shipping, and contain everything
<Off of the top of my head, assuming you live in the US, Wal-Mart, not sure what you mean by 'everything'>
Please give me some webs.
<spider?, cob?...>

Aquariums  6/11/09
Check out these cool aquariums.
Cheers, Mike
<Neat! Want to talk with you re the poss. of web design for an association friends and I are forming. BobF>

Fish tank advice 7/10/08 Hey bob! <Aimster> Howzit going? =) <Fine thanks> I wanted to pick your brains a bit about what features to look for in a fish tank. Is there a particular brand I should look for or avoid, or cleaning systems that are good, etc? <Mmm, yes... some brands, makes, models better/worse than others... For what application may I ask?> I was looking on the PetSmart website & they mention a skimmer box- what is that? <Mmm, much to relate... Please take a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm for starters...> Also what does the "eclipse 3" system do? <Mmm, this is a combo tank, hood, filter, lighting product by Marineland... for the not very serious... for saltwater... but workable for many freshwater applications> We have a spot in our hallway that would work for a tank, and I think we were sort of looking for something low enough that the cats could freak out over the fish, but also tall enough that Kirk could also see it. Is there a limitation on how tall a tank can be? <Mmm, yes... the practical limitation of height is a function of thickness of the material/s mainly... more expensive (and harder to work on/in) the taller> also, are there any advantages to a bowfront tank? <Looks mainly> Also, how much more of a pain in the rumpus is tropical vs. coldwater fish? <Really cold systems require a chiller... power to run, some noise, waste heat...> I don't think I want to muck around with saltwater, but I might deal with tropical if it isn't too big a pain in the ass. Thoughts? =) <Definitely start with a simple freshwater... much more forgiving> PS: I hear we're going to be in Kona at the same time, at least at the end of your visit. figures that we would run into each other on another land mass.... ;) <Hope so. I'll be in Kona from 7/15-8/19. See you there. A hu'i hou! BobF>

ZeroEdge Aquarium, Humidity, and Solaris LED Lighting - 03/20/08 I have been a saltwater hobbyist for 20 years, <<Ah, a fellow long-timer…I set up my first saltwater tank in 1977…under-gravel filter and all! [grin]>> I decided last year to scale down, bought a Red Sea Max... it's been easy, corals are doing great, but it is boring. <<…? Ready to go back to something bigger, eh>> Decided to have a custom ZeroEdge aquarium made.... size is 36x27x13. <<About 55-gallons…neat!>> This is my first open top aquarium, will the humidity increase? <<Indeed… The open top allows for greater air movement/evaporation; but also allows for better gas exchange, along with less heat build-up>> My room is 430 sq-feet; 14 ft high vaulted ceiling... the aquarium is @ 2% surface area of the entire room. <<Mmm, a bit less actually…but of little consequence. The vaulted ceiling should help a bit with comfort, I would think>> Also I am looking for lighting. The Solaris Led light from PFO is what I am looking at...... 36 inch..... Can I get away with a 24 inch? <<Maybe…depends much on what you plan to keep and its placement in the system. A 24" unit may provide very dim lighting towards the ends of this tank>> Also will the light spread cover front to back? I know that LED lights are more of a spot. <<I must admit I'm not sure. The design of the Solaris is a bit different than the more conventional fixtures familiar to the hobby. With more "typical" lighting solutions the spread of light is governed by the type/size/quality of the reflector utilized and the distance it is suspended above the system. Raising the fixture will give more spread, but also reduces intensity where the photosynthetic organisms are located…which may or may not be a prime factor, depending on the needs of your livestock>> With the depth of the tank being only 13 inches, any other suggestions? <<Metal halide has been and still currently is my favorite lighting solution for most any marine system. I have high hopes/expectations for the LED lighting systems to come, but for me/in my opinion, they don't yet measure up to metal halide…although it has been nearly a year since I last saw one of these units "close up." From what I read the technology is improving, and costs will be (hopefully) coming down. But for now, I'll stick with MH. But this is not meant to discourage you from using one of these units. Before you buy I do suggest visiting the hobby forums and chat with those who are already using them for their experience/comments re…and even contacting the manufacturer for their input on what "size unit" would best suit your tank>> Thanks for all your help. Seve <<A pleasure to share. EricR>>

Mismatch between Bowfront Tank and Stand Shape 2/13/08 Hello and thank you for this wonderfully informative site. <Hello Laurie, glad to be of service.> I have learned a great deal while searching for the answer to my question in your volumes of e-mails. I have just purchased a new tank and stand from my LFS (I'm guessing that this means local fish store?) <Yes.> that were sold together basically as a set. Both are 46 "Euro" Bow front style but are from different manufacturers. The most noticeable problem is that the arc of the front of the stand is shallower than that of the arc of the tank front. The tank, an All-Glass brand, fits well in the other dimensions to the stand which is made by Perfecto. The arc difference causes there to be two zones, one to either side of center where the tank overhangs for a distance of eight inches ranging from zero to the greatest overhang of 3/8ths inch in the very center of the zone. The All-Glass brand tank has a plastic frame and the frame is still on the stand but the vertical face of the front glass would overhang slightly at the center of those zones. <This is not good, not to mention unsightly. The entire perimeter of the tank should be supported.> I don't believe the LFS realized the difference because they had the tank, still in it's protective box sitting atop the stand. <Things like this happen.> I decided to write because the bow front tanks add a new twist to the list of tank/stand compatibility issues. Thank you very much for any insights or suggestions. Laurie <I would contact the store you purchased the set at and see about replacing either the tank or stand with a compatible unit. We all make mistake from time to time, it is how we handle/fix them that is a huge part of our character. Any LFS I would do business with will remedy this situation, give them a chance to… a vast majority will fix this for you. Welcome, Scott V.>

Glass Top Questions - 5/30/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Ed.> Thanks for your help so far in oh so many ways. <On behalf of all the crew, you are welcome.> My tank is a 42 gallon hex. 3" sandbed and running a Remora skimmer with Maxijet 1200, and one Rio 400 powerhead with a 360 wheel. I only have cleaners: 2 skunks, 1 small brittle star, 10 hermits (various little guys) and 10 snails (various) and a few very small frags of zoas, GSP, 1 very small mushroom and 1 small Xenia stalk. I have a couple questions relating to my glass top. The top is hinged and there is a gap on one side for the skimmer. I use the top because we have 4 cats and I thought it would be best to keep their hair and them out of my tank. <Hmm, my cats have never shown any interest in the saltwater tank. They always drank out of the freshwater, but don't even look at the saltwater - maybe it smells so different.> But I have very little evaporation happening. I maybe top off 1 or 2 gallons every 3 days or so. <That is a reasonable amount of evaporation for your tank size/shape. I only put about 1 gallon per day in my 75 gal with no top at all.> So here are the questions: Is this hindering my gas exchange? I can only assume so. <Really with the air exchange you get from the skimmer bubbles, you are probably fine.> If I chose to keep using the top, would there be any benefit to removing it when I'm at home and can keep an eye on the cats myself? <This seems like a lot of trouble for little benefit. Maybe spend that time training the cats. Hee!> Also would this have anything to do with seeing nitrates at a pretty constant 10-15 ppm for the past 2 weeks? <no.> The tank is relatively new, but after 2.5 weeks cycling nitrates were 0. Ammonia and nitrites have been 0 and remain constant there. I noticed the nitrates back up after adding the cleaners. Is this just part of the natural cycle after adding livestock? <Yes. And after adding food, or maybe a hermit died, or any other source of organic waste. The gas exchange won't affect the nitrate levels.> I don't plan on adding anything for another while. <Good for you. Slow changes are best.> Third, I use a 175 MH pendant that is about 10 inches from the glass. Before the light goes on, the temp is 79. After running about half the day it's up to 82 and stays there until it turns off, then back to 79 after a couple hours. Is this temp change too drastic? <That is not horrible, but is pushing the limit of how much fluctuation you want. Removing the tops might help with this more than anything else.> I hope these questions haven't been redundant, but I didn't find a lot pertaining to glass tops when I did my search (though I'm still new at searching this great wealth of information). <I removed mine to improve light penetration. My evaporation increased, but no cats or hairballs have gotten in yet.> Thanks so much for your time =D Ed Gambler <So welcome! Alex>

Re: Glass Top Questions - 6/1/07 Hi Alex, Thanks for the light speed response. I can't imagine how you read and replied to my message in the time it took to receive the response, LOL =D <Hee!!> Follow up question: on the temperature issue, I've kept my heater set to 79 after doing much reading. But since I'm getting this raise in temp from my light each day would it be OK to set the heater a bit higher or would 80-82 be too high for a constant temp? <I wondered about this approach myself, but I think it would still rise by a similar amount from the new set point, unless you do something to increase the heat transfer from the tank (remove tops or increase aeration. You will just get a higher range, still fluctuating if you raise the low temp I think. And higher temps can encourage algae blooms. I wouldn't worry about the fluctuation if everything seems healthy. Or increase the air flow over the water. You could leave the tops and direct some more air over the water with a fan maybe.> Thanks again and keep up the good work, I really appreciate it! Ed <You are so welcome. Cheers, Alex>

Swimming area v. gallon rules. Surface Area = More Swimming Room   5/10/07 This is a question about a non-traditional tank and typically gallon requirements for fish. <Okay.> For example, a yellow tang typically needs at least 125 gallons (my rule anyway) in a traditional style tank. <Agreed...> Here's the question - <Shoot...> What if the tank is one that lays down. In other words, what if the tank has a footprint of 48"X28" or something like that, with a height of around 10"? <A tank with more surface are and less show height....yes.> This provides significantly more swimming area than a traditional tank, but is still only around 58 gallons or so. Would is be inhumane to put a yellow tang, etc. in this tank? <Long term, I think yes, because I have seen yellows at 12" height in Hawaii. But I understand what you are getting at and it is something I have mentioned and noted significantly in my writings here. Tanks with more surface area and less show height allow for more swimming room and are easier to access. Compare a 40 gallon breeder tank to a 40 gallon standard.> I know the gallons are insufficient, but it seems that there is significantly more surface/swimming area. <Thanks for sharing. Adam J.> www.zeroedgeaquarium.com That is the website of the tank I am looking at. Thanks. Allen N. Trask, III

Dutch Aquarium Systems; gear, filtering sel.    4/21/07 Gentlemen: I have just discovered your site and have spent the past several hours reading various articles. I am particularly interested in those concerned with the DAS tanks. <This information I believe was/is mainly provided by me... from experience about 15 years back... Unfortunately, DAS doesn't provide info. re their present mechanicals on their site: http://www.petstorefixtures.com/> I have had a 55g and a 70 DAS tank in the past, and I thought these tanks were God's gift to the marine aquarium hobbyist. Now, I am thinking that is not the case. <Mmm, the filters, particularly skimmers, and circulation used to be dismal on their otherwise very good-looking systems> My wife just purchased for me a 115 gal DAS tank. (thanks honey!) It has what they call the H99 filter, and comes with a T5 lighting system. I have been unable to find out much about the newer DAS tanks until I began reading some of the articles and chat logs on your site. <As stated, this information is old> I am further thinking that this new tank may be a mistake; it's too late now to get out of the deal. So, what's next? <Mmm, keep it, amend its features, sell it?> I was planning to start with 100 lbs of live rock and cycle the tank with that. I had also planned to put in live sand, and have read from you to use less than 1" or more than 4" of substrate. Is that correct? <Yes... a good general rule> Would you explain this suggestion please? <The in-between depth presents issues of partial anaerobiosis, trapping foods/wastes... stated on WWM> Is live sand not a good idea? <Is... though most LS are better "made than bought"... Simple exposure of suitable substrate with live rock of a given "good quality" will inoculate the sand...> Ok let me back up a little. I was planning to cycle the tank through with the LR and LS, and then add a round of reef janitors. While cycling I understand to keep the lighting off; agreed? <Some folks propose this... I do not... I would leave the lights on... as stated on WWM...> Eventually, I would like to have some easy to care for corals and some reef safe fish. Am I going to have problems with filtration  with this system? <I would add to it...> What might you foresee that I may run into? <Inadequate skimming and its effects, incomplete circulation...> I have never owned a tank with a sump in the past, and I'm not afraid to use one, perhaps a little ignorant of them. <Easy to fix... read if this is your "way" to educate yourself... Otherwise, consider joining a marine club... chatting with others who have, use them> The tank does have a built in protein skimmer; I believe it is a venturi type. <Mmm, don't let the fancy word throw you... Venturis do not a decent skimmer make necessarily... again, this is posted> The other DAS tanks I had used the columnar skimmer with the wooden airstone. They seemed to skim well. <They're puny and a pain to maintain...> I guess the bottom line question gentlemen is: Have I made a mistake? thanks for your help Lynn Vangsnes <I would gather a few more opinions/data points... consider the above scenarios, at least plan on adding circulation, upgrading the skimmer... can be done with Hydor or Tunze pumps, a hang-on Aqua-C or Euro-Reef... Bob Fenner> Starphire Aquarium  3/28/07 Howdy friends, <Scott!> We're looking for a wholesaler to make a custom Starphire glass tank for us on the west coast.  Could you recommend anybody reputable to do it for us? <Mmm, am cc'ing about the best lead I have here, Jeff Turner... If he can't do this, he is the one (that I'm aware of) who is most likely to know who can. Bob Fenner> Scott

Acrylic Aquariums and Teenage Cue balls - 3/27/07 Dear Bob, <Bob's en route to Hawaii at the moment, the lucky son of a gun... JustinN with you in his stead!> Thanks for all the great information.  I am currently building an 8 foot fish only acrylic tank into the wall in the basement.  In front of the tank will be a pool table, approx. 5 feet from the tank front.  With teenagers in the house, is this safe?  Would the force of a stray pool ball crack the 1/2" acrylic?  Thanks, Steven <I think you will likely be fine here, my friend. Acrylic is pretty resilient, in my experiences. -JustinN>

Pet-fish Cabinetry Shows!  3/23/07 Hello Bob, I had a fairly off subject question for you. I have never been a part of  any kind of aquarium competition before, but I was wondering if you know of any very competitive competitions that judge not only the aquarium itself but  its enclosure / cabinetry and all as a whole? <Mmm, all such standards, categories are set locally... by "judging committees", the clubs themselves... But yes, have witnessed this> I have done something I feel is very unique and I wanted to see what else was out there. Thank you again, Brian  Crenshaw <Do make a suggestion to the outfit involved, proposing that they have such a division... open to commercial and private parties separately or combined. Bob Fenner> All Glass Tank, Perfecto Stand? 3/20/07 Hey All.   <Hi, Eric. GrahamT with you this morning.> Just a quick question.   <Ok.> I have a 75 gallon Perfecto tank and pine stand.  I would like to get a drilled tank, but use the same stand.  Would it be possible to get a drilled All Glass 90 gallon with the same footprint to fit on the Perfecto stand?   <Don't see why not.> My LFS says maybe, maybe not, only adding to my confusion.  They claim that there may be small enough differences in design, even though both tanks are 48 x 18, that may cause different branded stands not to fit. <You are not likely to have problems, unless your current tank and stand combination has the tank sitting inside a lip. You *might* find that the AG tank has thicker glass, and won't fit as a result. Otherwise, I would think you'd be fine. This is really all that I can think of, and assuming your stand requires the tank to sit on top, then you would be fine anyway.> Like always, You Rock. <Aww, shucks.> Thanks, Eric <Welcome. -GrahamT>

I am considering purchasing one of the 95 gallon oceanic wave tanks-is there any truth to this??  - 03/12/07 "Re: All-Glass tank recall 28 Jun 2005 Just wanted to give you an update on the 95 gallon All-Glass wave tank. Apparently they were recalled, there was a problem with the glass in the tank. <Yikes> I just got an email from someone there and they said that virtually all of the flawed ones have been accounted for and destroyed. Thanks, Cory <Thank you for this update. All the more reason I guess, for filling out, returning registration information cards. Bob Fenner> Saltwater Tank Setup, Leaky Tanks? Hello again Bob. I wanted to say thanks for the advice on the in sump protein skimmers. Secondly I wanted to know if you had any info on the All-Glass 95 gallon wave tank. Two local retailers told me it was being recalled due to leaks in the adhesive. Do you know if there is any truth to this? <Have not heard this... and would be very surprised if this were the case... there is nothing inherently wrong with the shape, design of these tanks... and this is a fine company that knows what they're doing. They would recall all if there were such problems> Also if this is the case could you recommend a replacement tank? Thanks, Cory <The large aquarium manufacturing companies in the U.S. are to be trusted. Bob Fenner " I am considering purchasing one of the 95 gallon oceanic wave tanks-is there any truth to this?? <Don't know... but  I do trust the company itself to divulge if it is so. Contact them re> I know the store we are planning on buying it from has had it in stock for quite some time now and I'm sure if it were recalled they would not display it. <Mmm, well... I would not be so sure here... As stated, a simple matter to contact them... and I strongly suspect they have a "date stamp" (likely on their label)... for "date of inception/manufacture") on their tanks. They'll know when it was made>   We currently have an oceanic 75 gallon reef tank which is now about 4 years old and have had much success with the whole system.  After stumbling upon this article I'm now leery about making the purchase.  Please help with any advice you can!   <Contact them, and please re-contact me/us re what you find, and your impressions of the experience. A good company, with fine products in my estimation. Bob Fenner> US gallons vs. UK gallons  3/5/07 Hi Me again. Are you a US site? <Yes> In other words are you using US gallons rather than UK gallons? <Yes> I've only just seen reference to Wal Mart in the FAQ, and we don't have them here! <Wal Mart is a large discount store. Sorry I am not familiar with the stores in the UK so I cannot offer you the name of a similar type of store.> I'm British, and I don't understand US gallons!!! Regards Lesley It's not too hard. 1 US gallon = 0.8 UK gallon. There is an online conversion web site you can use to convert just about anything to anything else….... http://www.onlineconversion.com/ HTH, Leslie>

Acrylic Aquariums Hi Crew, <Hey Jason, JustinN with you today. Both emails that you sent arrive at the same inbox, so either way you sent it you did just fine.> I've been quite the fan of the website and it's been rather informative and helped me on many occasions. <On behalf of the crew, glad to be of service.> Recently I've scoured your pages for information on Acrylic aquariums and such and was curious about a few things. <I'll see if I can't clear some things up for you.> At the moment I've got a 37 gal. glass saltwater aquarium with I'd say roughly 50+ lbs of live rock, A ProClear wet/dry filter that came stock full with bio balls where I have since removed about half. I'm also running a Corallife 65 super protein skimmer. The wet/dry pump is a Rio 2500, which pumps at 700+ gph with prefilter and single return. Livestock includes 2 Perc. clowns that I've had for nearly two years, and a yellow damsel which I've had a bit longer than the Percs. <Ok> I'm looking to upgrade the system in the hopefully near future and was curious as to if you had any idea on any good dealers for acrylics. I've found numerous sites online and the prices are all varying. I really don't feel up to being ripped off if I can help it. I'm sure you'd understand. <Completely> I've checked around my LFS's and the prices for full acrylic setups tanks, stands, and sometimes filters) are all well above $1000. I'm not looking for anything huge, but something in the 55 - 75 gal. range. I'd appreciate a little insight. <Well, as you've likely already discovered, acrylic is typically a bit more expensive than a standard glass aquarium would be. You might consider looking up plastic supply shops in your area and asking for information for whom could custom construct you acrylic containers around you. You may end up finding this offering some savings over online ordering. Beyond local dealerships, I have no real experience with online dealers, though I hear good things about Tenecor (www.tenecor.com) and their custom tanks.> For my other inquiry, In current tank I only have the wet/dry and the pump for the return is the only thing circulating the tank. I understand the Rio pump is above standards for 10x gph by the total gallons in the tank, however with only one return to the tank there are problems concerning dead areas in the tank as far as detritus and lack of movement. <You also need to factor in head loss for the distance from your sump to your return, plus any bends that may be in place in that plumbing.> What would you recommend I do to create more turbulence throughout the tank rather than just the water circulating in one direction. I hear this and that about adding pumps into the Tank itself, so I thought I'd get your input. <Yes, powerheads would be the simplest solution here, though you could also plumb your new aquarium for secondary pump system, known as a closed loop. See here for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbh2oret.htm > Sorry for the huge paragraph. <No worries on the length of the letter, Jason. It helps us to have detail.> Best Wishes, Jason <Same to you and yours! Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Looking to find an acrylic tank to buy  1/8/07 , that will fit the dimensions of my stand (48x 13 - 55 gal), but want a taller tank. Do you know of a manufacturer that makes taller tanks with this same width and length dimensions, or can you suggest a custom place that wouldn't be too expensive. thanks Michelle <Have you tried calling local acrylic and plastic vendors in your area yet, Michelle? They may be able to direct you to a local company that could construct you the tank you want for cheaper. Otherwise, I hear good things about Tenecor custom tanks, and know they will build about anything you could possibly want. See http://www.tenecoraquariums.com for more information on them. Hope this helps you! -JustinN> Cabinetry    1/5/07 Hello Bob <'Allo, Mark. Graham here tonight.> This may seem like a minor issue to a serious aquarist but I'm hoping to tap into your years of experience with aquarium setups. <Don't worry, though: I have some of that, too...> I'll soon purchase a new reef setup, the most expensive part of which is the cabinetry.   <Really? Sounds like a small tank...?> One company uses MDF, the other plywood.   <Both functional and with their own pros/cons.> I have a low opinion of particle board, although I understand MDF is at the high end of this category.  Which would you choose? <Both technologies are based on an epoxy and/or wax bond for keeping layers or particles of wood in place. Either will be made to support well in excess of the weight of the loaded system it is designed for (that is, of course, provided that we are talking about stands *designed* for aquarium use). Both materials will distort when exposed to prolonged or repeated doses of soaking. This usually doesn't pose a huge problem, but your tank may lose a bit of it's level-ness it began with. Personally, if you can afford it, I would advise you to go with *solid* wood over either product mentioned above. It won't mind some wet conditions, and the finish won't peel off and change.> Thanks, Mark Di Pirro <Hope I cleared some things up. If not, give this a read. Heck, give it a read anyway. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm -Graham T.>

Location, Location, Location  12/29/06 <Hi Kim, Pufferpunk here> I am new to the marine aquarium hobby and have had my 55 gallon tank set up for five months now.  Fortunately for me but unfortunately for my tank, I will be moving to a new home.  I basically have a choice of two locations for the tank in the new home.  In one location, it would be subject to a surround sound system, which is used about twice a week or so.  With the other choice of location, the tank would be about eight feet away from the main door.  Both locations would be an in-wall type installation. I've read conflicting information on your site regarding whether sound causes too much stress on fish.  And I've also read to keep tanks away from drafts.  I don't know whether the opening and closing of a door would be akin to locating the tank next to a drafty window or if I'm being too paranoid about it all.  I've put a lot of time, effort, stress and money into this tank thus far, so I'd like to make sure I get things right straight away in the new home.   I suppose my question is this:  Which is the lesser of two evils?  Loud sound, or occasional air from the door being opened?  Hopefully your answer is not an absolute no on both options, since I really don't have any other choices aside from selling the tank, which I really want to avoid!   <I'd go with the door, away from the loud noise.  ~PP> Thanks for your time, Regards, Kim in Boston

Acrylic vs. glass tanks   12/19/06 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Well, you've got Jorie here instead of Bob- I'll try my best to help you out!> I read your article, "Tanks, Stands & Covers for Marine Aquarium Systems" <Great article written by Bob...> I am about to purchase a relatively large (280 gal) aquarium which will serve as a room divider in our new home.  I have been struggling greatly with my attempt to decide between acrylic or glass (Starphire).  I have read so many differing opinions on the two choices. Most of the criticism surrounding acrylic is related to its ease of scratching.  Others have stated it becomes opaque.  Can you speak further to this matter?  I simply do not wish to buy a tank of this size and for a significant amount of money and regret my purchase.  I wish for a tank to last many years. <I applaud you for putting so much thought into this decision - always best to research before buying, doing; the same holds true for when you're ready to stock your new tank as well!  With regards to glass vs. acrylic tanks, well, like many things, there are pros and cons to both.  The concerns you mention about acrylic are valid - indeed, it is quite easy to scratch an acrylic tank, and I have seen some become cloudy with age. Our personal experience reveals that the former is more likely to happen than the latter - indeed, all of our acrylic tanks are scratched in places. However, there are algae-scrubbing pads and such made especially for acrylic tanks.  The benefits of acrylic, in contrast to glass, are its strength and flexibility.  Also, it's much lighter than glass (weight-wise).  Ultimately, it becomes a matter of personal preference; these concerns generally balance each other out. The one personal suggestion I would give you with regard to investing in a new tank is to not get a bowfront (or any non-rectangular shaped tank, for that matter).  Our saltwater tank is a 46 gal. acrylic bowfront, I can honestly tell you that the viewing is greatly distorted by the curve.  All other things being equal, I (we - it's really my boyfriend's tank!) wouldn't purchase that same tank again.  I also have a 44 gal. pentagon-shaped glass freshwater tank - that one creates its own problems (e.g., proper lighting and being able to reach the bottom, both due to the height of the tank). This was my first tank purchase, and I thought it was great, since it was "unique".  Of all my tanks, I'm happiest with the "standard" 29 gal. rectangular tank which houses my brackish fish.>   The broad spectrum of information is very hard for me to digest and make my decision.  Can you help me any more than your article already did as far as your preference for acrylic? <That would be Bob's preference, it seems!  I think the glass vs. acrylic decision results in very personal opinions.  I do see some merit in going with acrylic for the larger-sized tanks (again, for strength reasons, if nothing else), but I won't lie - you will ultimately seem some scratches.  Not the end of the world, but they will inevitably happen.> <<I do prefer acrylic for most applications... but only have two glass tanks presently... with some scratches... RMF>> Thanks, Keith xxx.xxx.xxxx <Hope I've helped a bit, Keith.  No concrete answer here, all you can do is lots of homework, then weigh your options.  Either choice will be just fine, in all likelihood! Best regards, Jorie>

General Advice re size/shape of tank for SW Tank Setup   11/5/06 Hey Crew, <Jeremy> I just need some general advice regarding Tank Size and an Emperor Angel.  I am about to buy a fully setup 120 gallon system from a co-worker to upgrade from my 55 gallon setup.  As it happens, I was at the LFS the other day and saw a different sized 125 gallon tank.  It was very long (7ft I think, about as long as the 215, just not as wide or tall) and not like the show tank style (only 4 ft long) that I would be buying. <Shows how things change... the "stock" 125's I was familiar with were six feet long> I am thinking of selling the show tank to a friend and using the filtration, LR, Lighting, etc. for the longer 125.  I remember the argument Bob made in his book about surface area vs. volume.  I can't see the 4ft 120 being better than the 7ft 125 for the angel. <Agreed> I am really upgrading tanks because of the emperor angel I currently have in the 55.  He is still a small juvi (about the size of a flame angel), but I want him in a bigger tank ASAP.  Would he be well off in the longer 125 or should I hold off, save up and get the 215 later on and just use the show 120 for now? <Mmm... what time frame are we talking about here? If it's only a handful of months, I'd hold off and get the larger system> The LFS guy said the emperor would be fine in 125 but I keep reading that I will need a 200 gallon system. <Eventually even larger> If both tanks are 7ft long, would 6" extra depth and height matter that much? <Could> I don't want to sound ignorant, but just trying to think ahead. If I buy the 125, I wouldn't have to upgrade the skimmer, wet/dry, add more LR, etc. again.  I have to think about cost too. <Yes> Also, I was at a different LFS the other day and saw a really beautiful tang.  It had similar markings of an Achilles tang, but instead of orange, it was a mix of bright blue and yellow highlights.  The sign said Goldrim, but I thought they looked similar to Powder Brown Tangs. Any ideas what it was?   Thanks, Jeremy <Likely either Acanthurus glaucopareius or A. japonicus. Both are written about and pictured on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Anemone Splittings BTA beh., tank "size"    10/6/06 Hi Mr. Fenner & Crew, <Marilyn> 14 months ago, my RBTA did a split, yielding 1 Clone which is doing  super.   Well, 12 days ago, the original RBTA did another split and 2 l/2  days later, it split again, yielding twin clones : ) so now I have a beautiful  tank with the original RBTA and 3 clones!  Problem: the original RBTA is  discharging quite a bit of it's mesenterial filaments.  Is this a bad sign  or is this normal? <Mmm... can/does happen... but these should be "brought back in" within a short while (a few days)> I don't recall it doing this on the first split 14 mos.  ago.  My water parameters are as follows:  pH 8.0, dKH 10.75, Alk  3.86, CA 395 - 400, & SG 1.025. Temp. 76.5 - 78.5F <These all look fine> Another question - I've been able to find a formula on how to figure the actual gallons of water a tank can hold but have not been able to find information as to how to figure out how many gallons of water is actually in a  tank with 100 lbs. of LR and 30 - 40 lbs of live sand ( 2 inch. sand  bed) <Mmm, could be calculated given the known density of both of these... they are variable...> displacement so if I do a 15 gallon water change, what would the  percentage of change be?  Do hope you can help me with a formula of  some sort. <Well... do you want to weigh a given bit of rock and sand and measure their displacement volume to determine densities? Density equals mass over volume, D= m/V... from here you can/could calculate the volume taken up by both (on the basis of their known mass... weight on this planet... as in V= m/D... and "take out" the volume (at about 231 cubic inches per gallon) of the rock and sand... leaving you with water volume...> Thank you for your help to my two problems/questions. Marilyn   <Welcome. BobF>

Tanks with rounded corners, avail. , shark sys.   9/4/06 Thanks for your info on this subject. I've decided on the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark. Do you know of anyone or any website that sells circular or oval-shaped tanks? Chad Howell <Mmm, yes... a few fabricators... that will ship most everywhere. CASCO/Tradewind/SeaClear, San Diego Plastics, Tenecor... could use the Net to search, look at the back of hobby mag.s for listings. Bob Fenner>

Tank Question... tempered glass test? S and S...   8/23/06 Hello, <And to you> Ok, I have tried doing a search for this company that made my tank; S&S. Have you heard of them? <Yes... and have just looked through some current and old/er "Buyer's Guides" as well as the Net, and don't see reference to them anywhere...> I bought a 75 gallon that has a brace on both the bottom and top and I want to know if the bottom is tempered or not. <Mmm...> Do you know of a website or phone number where this company can be reached? <I do not. Suspect they have long since gone out of business> The sticker on the tank said March 2000 and has S&S glass etched in the corner, but no sticker indicating tempered glass. Thanks so much, -- Nicole Hall <Am pretty sure a "glass company" could tell you whether this material is tempered or no... I would call on some of these locally and ask if you might bring this tank by... Bob Fenner>

Jebo 72 gallon aquarium. Al and SW... toxic   8/21/06 This tank has a tight fitting aluminum hood with pre-cut holes for filter tubes, pump wires etc. Holes are too small to accommodate my hang on CPR skimmer. I don't want to cut hood to accommodate this skimmer-anyone know of a hang on skimmer that will work with this type hood? Thanks, Randy <... Uhh, more trouble... aluminum and saltwater don't mix... This tank cannot be used with this fixture. Bob Fenner>

Re: Jebo 72 gallon aquarium, Al issue   8/21/06 Bob thanks for the heads up. Aluminum components of hood are painted, don't know if that makes a difference, otherwise plastic tank frame is cut to   accommodate glass hinged lid. Guess I could have custom cut glass and use my  coral life light fixture off of my old 55 gal. When you say toxic in what form? Gas, flaking corrosion into  tank? <The last... can be real trouble... Bob Fenner> Re: Jebo 72 gallon aquarium   8/21/06 Bob, I'm amazed at your ability to return e-mail so rapidly. <I key quickly> You are the only on line resource I trust and rely on for professional advice. I read and rely on your conscientious marine aquarist book for most everything-best 50  dollars I have spent. I will keep an eye on the painted aluminum for any signs of corrosion. <Ah, good... I would also employ a pad/unit of PolyFilter in your filter flow path here> Found a way to mount by back mount skimmer, this lid component comes off  by removing two screws and allows mounting space-also less  metal to worry about! <Very good> Thanks so much for your valuable time and advice. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Website Tanks, Free/Cheap Tanks? - 06/07/2006 This is Vic, first I would like to thank Tom for his reply on my Marbled angelfish, left, bent ventral fin. <I'm glad he could help!> It is still a beautiful specimen.  However, I never mentioned that before I had my large tank established, I have a fancy goldfish who used to live in the tank.  My first fish before the others.  I turned my large tank tropical (already mentioned the inhabitants) so I moved the goldy to a 10 gal.  I know it's too small, had him (or her) for five years.  Fed with all kinds of food, flakes, frozen. <Might take a look here for more food/nutrition ideas:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> Its overall health is great.  Its fins are even getting close to 3 times its size. Had it when it was about 1" and it is now close to 4", not including fins.  I know I need to upgrade the tank size, but money is a major issue.   <Understandable, to be sure.> A lot of money goes into keeping both tanks running.  Please don't tell me to return it to my local fish store, for they will just sell it, and I don't want it to suffer or die. <Right on.  I would not return this animal, especially since you obviously have the intent to improve its living space.> I repeat again it is beautiful with the longest fins I have ever seen and I have seen a lot of goldfish.  I have checked e-bay, Craigslist, and am looking for a larger tank but the amount people want is similar to the pet store prices. <Keep checking these; you may very well find a great deal.  Also, please start checking the classified ads in your local newspapers - you might get VERY surprised at the finds to be found there.> I have a large home capable of holding several large tanks if I had them.  I live in Brooklyn, so running into a garage sale isn't happening.  Now comes my question, do you guys know of anyplace that donates large tanks, <Thinking....> I know you may not want to reveal a source on your site, as you may get an influx of replies, especially those who are not genuine about their hobby. I know people practically throw tanks away, who have not been successful, or true to this hobby. <I've found many "throw-away" tanks on curb sides on trash days....  It's crazy what folks throw away, sometimes!> Unfortunately, I know none of them.  Maybe you guys have links or connects to people who want to get rid of their tanks, if not maybe it would be hoo of you <"Hoo"?  Neat.  Never heard this term before.> to create not only a donation site, but also an adoption site <Yikes!  Time, resources....  Though this is a GREAT idea (maybe one you will expand upon and begin?), I know I, for one, haven't the time....  I'm over-committed on projects as it is right now.> as I would adopt a large tank with goldies as long as mine can fit in comfortably. <Do me a favor....  Check out http://www.freecycle.org/ - I have obtained tanks through this system before.  You can find the freecycle groups near you and post aquarium requests, who knows what you might find!> Again I would like to thank Tom, and the rest of your staff for this site, (got to admit, I was a non-believer till my first email was answered, I apologize).   <No worries.  We do answer most everything that comes in, and as timely as possible.> Vic Why shoot the breeze about it, when you can be about it <A great statement.  Reminds me I have things to do....  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> What about "Top Fin" aquariums - 5/25/2006 Hey there WWM crew! <<Hey Linda.>> I've read through your site and could not find any opinions on the Top Fin aquarium, sold thru PetSmart.  I cannot find anything on the net as to who manufactures these aquariums. <<I do believe it is Marineland or Perfecto>> Is this aquarium, to your knowledge, equal to the All Glass or a step below?  (reason why I'm asking is that I bought a 75 gal. last week and am hoping it is a decent tank, although, am certainly not against returning it and buying an All Glass or even an Oceanic.  Most of the fish stores in GA have All Glass but liked the stand so much at PetSmart, that I went for the tank, also.) <<I have a 47-gallon X-tall by Top Fin, and I love it.  It is gorgeous, sturdy and I have never had a problem.  Buy with confidence! Thank you.  Linda   <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Re: what about "Top Fin" aquariums - 5/25/2006 WHEW!  Thank you so much Lisa!  This weekend I get that baby started up!  I bought it two weeks ago and am anxious to get it started.  (Last week I spent a day shopping for floor jacks and placing them under my house giving my floor more support due to the placement of the tank.  I'm ready to get this tank rolling.  Many thanks.   Linda in GA <<Glad to help. Good luck! Lisa.>>

110 Gallon Jetstream Aquarium ... Not WWM...  - 05/13/2006 Hallo again, <Hello> Just a quick question this time, I think. I am thinking about up grading my tank to the following as advertised on the 'Foryourfish.com' guys as advertised on your site: 110 Gallon Jetstream Aquarium Setup Choice of color: Oak or Walnut. This setup includes 48L x 18W x 30H Tank unit , matching Pine Majesty Cabinet Stand 30" High, Glass Canopy and 48" florescent light strip with dual bulb or full hood with dual florescent bulb. <I see it... Perfecto/Marineland product/s... very nice> Jetstream Aquarium 110 Gallons - Choose Finish:   Black  Oak List Price:  $1,250.00 , Sale Price:  $1,049.00    Unfortunately I can not find a 'contact us' link to get more information about the tank on their site, so I am hoping that you know the product. I would like to know the following information: <Mmm... I would try Perfecto and Marineland's sites re their product...> 1. What is the temperature of the fluorescent lighting? 2. Will I be able to have a marine reef aquarium in this tank safely? 3. Do I need to purchase a UV sterilize separately? <You could> 4. Do I need to purchase a Protein skimmer separately? 5. Am I correct in understanding that this is a ready to start tank with all the pumps etc. . included? <... Please contact ForYourFish.com re... http://foryourfish.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/contact_us.htm to be sure what is included from them> I am not in a hurry to make a purchase as I am still doing my research. So take your time with the questions. I currently have a 50 gal tank, with UV sterilizer, protein skimmer and a Double bulb florescent light ( one white one blue). I have some fish, Live rock, a starfish, a giant clam, one hard and one soft coral and four shrimps (2x fire, 1x cleaner and 1x boxer). The would like to upgrade because I read on your site that it is easier to maintain a larger tank, I would also like to purchase more corals but I am hesitant to do so with my current system. Regards Lizanne Coetser <Be searching, chatting. Bob Fenner> Yahoo! Auto Response Good day, Please note that if I do not respond to your mail within 24 hours I am most probably in hospital having my baby. I will return all incoming e-mails as soon as I am able to. Lizanne Coetser <Ohh! Congrats! BobF>

Re: 110 Gallon Jetstream Aquarium  5/14/06 Thank you Bob, <Welcome Lizanne> The Marineland tanks are very beautiful! They are very homely. Perfecto's site is under construction but I requested a catalogue vie e-mail. Thanks for your help. You're a star. Again. Lizanne Coetser <Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>

BiOrb and saltwater  - 5/5/2006 Could you please tell me if a 30 litre BiOrb can be made into a marine aquarium? <Sorry, these tanks are inappropriate for marine aquariums.  Some would argue they are also inappropriate for most fresh water fish.> <Chris>

Aquah2o corner tank    4/23/06 Hi Bob <Steve> Found you site whilst surfing for info on the Aquah2o corner tank. I intend buying the Tigress 88 corner tank from these guys. Do you have any info on them regarding quality, practicality etc? <I do not... but they have a spiffy website: http://www.aquah2o.co.za/> Unfortunately I cannot fit a rectangular tank in the space I have, so I am looking at the corner version, with a bottom sump filter. One of my main concerns is that the stand seems to be made of "super wood" that has been braced and spray painted a matt black. The tank stand is made to fit the tank and cannot be practically changed without major expense! <I understand, and agree> I would really appreciate any and all advice you could give me on this. Please keep up your very informative site, as it answers many questions that we have. Kind Regards Steve Hammer Cape Town South Africa <Thank you Steve... I encourage you to post your query on a few of the specialty BB's (Reef Frontiers, Reefs.org...) to seek out actual customer experience data here. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Set Up/Tank Volume   3/10/06 Where do I find a chart to calculate tank water quantity. Also what does ppm mean? What happened to those out side stats we used along time past, can we do better? <Tank volume is LxWxD (In inches) divided by 231.  Ppm means parts per million.  Don't know about the outside stats, before my time.  Mr. Fenner may insert something here. <<Outside stat.s? As in the Server? See "Sponsors" FAQs pages on WWM re. RMF>> James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Des

Set Up/Tank Volume  - 03/12/2006 Thank you for your reply James, Salty Dog, <You're welcome.> Using your formula I Have 72"x18"x18" = 23328 divide by 231= 10098. If this is correct then how would I convert this to litres/ gallons? <Correct and not correct, Des. That does not relate to a 10,098 gallon tank.  Your decimal is in the wrong place.  You have a 100.9 gallon tank.  If you want to know liters, multiply by 3.8.  Will be very close.  James (Salty Dog)> Many thanks  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Des Tank size  02/12/06 After further reading on your site, I felt the need to tell you the dimensions of my 150 gallon tank.  Anyway its 48L x 24D x 30H . I look forward to hearing from you soon.  <David, what is this relating to?  If you have sent a query earlier, you need to respond with the original query so we have an idea what you are talking about.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Multiply the inside dimensions (in inches)  and divide by 231 (cubic inches per gallon approximately)... RMF>>

Nano v. Eclipse   2/1/06 Nice site.  I was thinking of getting a 12 gallon freshwater tank for my office.  I'm looking for the least amount of hassle. I stumbled upon the Eclipse System 12 and the Nano Cube 12 Gallon. Is one "better" than the other? <Mmm, yes... in general the Eclipse is better for freshwater set-up "types" and the Nano for marine...> I will get hearty fish, and whatever extras (like a heater) which will make the whole experience easier and nicer.  I may also get one for my home, and may end up getting a larger set up in future. Thanks! <Ah yes. Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Nano v. Eclipse    2/3/06 Sorry to be a pest, but I have to ask why?  Nano cube cost a bit more, but it's made of glass and comes with a pump.  I am only starting my fish education, but those seem like good things that the Eclipse doesn't have? <The Eclipse units have less capacity for modification for marine types of filtration (protein skimmers require cutting the top, and the "wheel" is inadequate... often, for biological filtration), the Nano's have more flexibility for upgrading lighting... all in all making them more adaptable to marine use. Bob Fenner> Hesitant to buy  12/20/2005 Hey Crew, <Hey Daniel> I don't know if you are able to directly give one company preference over another, but maybe you can settle some doubts I have or some of your readers could. I have been in contact with a company called Glasscages.com who sells custom glass and acrylic tanks. To save money on shipping, they can deliver an order to a fish store or convention. Unfortunately, they are skipping my state this year but said I could meet them at a local truck stop to pick up my tank. They don't have the ability to take orders over the internet. This worries me because I won't have a receipt of any sort but said I could give my card information over the phone. I am really suspicious, but the thought of a 135 gallon and oak stand for $550 is hard to pass up. Can you give me any insight or post my email in this letter so other people can e-mail me if they have gotten stuff from them? <Sounds pretty lucrative to me..."skipping your state this year", c'mon.  And, $550 for tank and oak stand is almost a give away price.  I suggest you find a reputable dealer that doesn't dismiss any states this year.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Is a large, established company... but does most business with/in the trade... not to hobbyists. RMF>> Sincerely, Daniel

Who manufactures the acrylic equivalent of Oceanic Systems  12/15/05 Hello-<Hi Ed> I am planning my first marine tank and a reef tank at that.  I have  been doing a lot of reading to prepare and am currently reading The  Conscientious Marine Aquarist.  A great read and really  helpful. If I choose to go to a glass tank I'll be purchasing Oceanic Systems.   I am however, considering acrylic and I'd like to know who manufacturers a tank  of comparable quality.  Googling acrylic aquariums brings up many sites but  I don't have sufficient expertise to determine which are good and which are  not. <Tenecor is a quality brand.  I've bought an acrylic tank from them in the past.  www.tenecor.com  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks,<You're Welcome> Ed

Insurance Policies And The Ever present Backdoor - 12/13/2005 Gentlemen/Ladies, <Or Josh if that'll work.> I had a 167 gallon aquarium, set up in my living room, and the front face blew out. Unknown cause. <Doesn't sound like this is headed toward "happily ever after".> My homeowners insurance company has refused to pay my claim on the contents of my living room. <Typical...taking payments is just...easier.> Standard coverage (ho3 personal property replacement) doesn't cover aquariums? <This would most likely be categorized as "Flood Damage" or some other class.> My question is have you or any one you know of dealt with this before? I am taking them to small claims court over this and would like to know how others have dealt with this issue?  <I really feel for you on this one. I don't (nor do I know anyone who has) have specific experience with this situation but have dealt with insurance claims before. Review your policy in its entirety (including limitations). Personal property is probably not going to have this covered due to the nature of the damage. Many times you need various "adjunct policies" for true complete coverage. Think of all the poor souls caught by the hurricanes, submitting their claims and finding out they never actually had flood damage coverage. I think that with this being an "elective box of water" you will probably lose.> Thanks for your help <Wish I could. - Josh (whose wife has been forced to tell people that the Health Department can't help them until the sewage actually backs up into the home, Dep. of Ag. covers the yard pipes not ten feet away. Laws and stipulations...)

How heavy can you go?  12/12/05 Hello crew, <Hello Daniel>      In your opinion/experience, what is the largest aquarium you would consider (without losing too much sleep at night) placing in a bedroom on the second story? <There are too many variables at play here... age of the building, construction, and whether you will place the tank against a load-bearing wall, parallel or perpendicular to joists. For a tank against a solid wall, perpendicular to joists, in a modern building, perhaps 180 gallons... but I would definitely confirm with a specialist first, for anything over 75 or so gallons. For older houses, different orientations, all bets are off. Best regards, John.>   Thank you kindly, Daniel

Aquarium Options  11/30/05 Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I've been looking for aquariums to start a marine tank recently. Have you heard of the SeaClear System 2 aquariums? <Yes I have> Are they worth their price? They sell SeaClear tanks with just a hood and a light strip that are about $100-$150 dollars cheaper. The only difference is that the System 2 comes with a wet/dry trickle filter built in it. Should I buy the System 2 or should I buy just a SeaClear tank and than buy a bio-wheel filter? <In my opinion, it's always better to go with the "regular" aquarium, and to construct or purchase a separate sump-based "filter". Although the trickle filter is integrated into the tank in the System II, I have found that there is compromised flexibility with these systems, with regards to getting a protein skimmer back into the filter compartment, as well as with access and limited options for placing chemical filtration media.  In addition, because of the location of the filter compartment, you generally get a narrower footprint than you would in a "standard" tank of the same size. They are not bad, and do have their applications (for example, they make neat seahorse tanks)-but as you "mature" in your marine aquarium hobby, you'll want to have more flexibility and "upgradability", which these tanks don't offer much of. For someone seeking a turnkey, off-the-shelf product with no extra plumbing required, they can be adequate if attention is paid to stocking and the limitations of the system, of course. Hope this helps! Good luck, regardless of which way you go! Regards, Scott F.>

Metal Halide Lighting And Acrylic Tanks - 11/27/05 Hi, <<Hello>> I've searched and researched my question, but have come across no answer so I wanted to run it by you. <<Alrighty>> I have a 75 gallon pentagon acrylic tank. I am considering purchasing the Aqualight Pro with the 150 watt metal halide and 2X65 watt actinics. My tank has a closed top with a removable acrylic piece that covers it. <<Typical>> Using the mounting legs, would I have to worry about the heat melting the top of my tank? That may be a stupid question, but I'm new to metal halide lighting and can't find anything to answer this. <<Not a stupid question. Keep the bulb height 6"-8" above the tank and you'll be fine. I would also remove the "removable" piece to aid with light penetration/gas exchange.>> Thanks for your time. Brian
<<Welcome, EricR>>

Old jewel tank  11/23/05 I have an antique Jewel fish tank. I am thinking of selling it. Are you interested? Corners are cast metal fish standing on nose. Ken <Am, as well as a couple of other friends (Chuck Rambo, Gary Bagnall) Chuck, please send to GaryB. Do you have pix to send re... price? Bob Fenner> <<Often referred to as the dolphin tank from Jewel of Chicago. Very collectable and I am definitely interested.  Chuck >> Bob, See attached drawing. I don't have a photo and the tank is at my summer home. I am going there Friday and will take photos for you. The tank is in excellent original condition. I bought it at an estate sale in an old mansion 20 years ago. I did silicone the glass so it won't leak. The light is cool and works. The glass is very thick. The tank is heavy.  I don't know what to ask for it. I saw one before and is was costly. I planed on auctioning it on EBay but would be open to serious offers. Ken <The original tank was built during the art deco period by the Jewel company out of Chicago. They still exist but just make bullet proof tanks for schools. An original dolphin tank will have a slate bottom and the edges of the glass are thickened and rounded off. It is a very decorative tank that has been reproduced. After seeing a photo I would be better able to tell if it is an original or a reproduction. I could not open the drawing.-Chuck> 

Avoiding Tank Disasters!  Deuce Bigalow Revisited 11/3/05 Hello guys, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I just had a disaster with my 4'x2'x2', it exploded!! <Yikes! Sorry to hear that!> But I'm grateful enough to be alive still. Now I am getting a new tank which is 4'x2'x1', can you help me to get the right thickness for tank of this size, or maybe you can provide me with formula to calculate thickness in proportion to volume in cubic inches. <To be honest, this type of calculation is best done by the manufacturer of the tank. They should know the correct thickness, based on the size of the tank and the materials used. My best advice is to utilize a well-regarded, professional tank manufacturer. Ask to see pictures of their work, or ask for references. You don't want to skimp on the tank!> One more thing is that my aquarium is located in the porch which is exposed to lots of sunlight, which in turn caused an algae bloom. I can't relocate into the house as there's no space sufficient enough. It is beyond control. I already tried to cut lighting hours but to no avail. Can UV light help to solve the problem. Any suggestions other than UV light? Please help. Thank you. Sam Malaysia <Well, Sam- light in conjunction with nutrients is a definite recipe for algae problems! UV may not be an effective algae control mechanism. Rather, I'd consider some sort of tinting on the windows, or a sun shade of some sort, to help cut down the influx of sunlight, if possible. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.> 

"Coral reef aquariums" 10/25/05 Hey crew good evening, I am a pet store owner looking for the name brand "Coral Reef Aquariums" I found a phone number in southern California but it is disconnected, I am currently trying to get a large quantity of aquariums for my store, I already use mark at aqua and of course all glass and oceanic as well a Lee-mar. <These companies names are capitalized...> I have got emailed a couple price lists from quality pets pricing out "coral reef" aquariums but because of the large volume I am trying to buy and many of them being custom size, shape, overflow combo's I really would like to work with the manufacturer on this order. So do you guys know of them? <Mmm, nope> or have contact info or do you know of any other Southern California glass tank companies that I could contact? Thanks as always. <I would stick with the larger companies you list... as in "It's not what you make, it's what you get to keep." Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Tanks, earthquakes  10/21/05 Hi gang: <Chuck> I am looking to order an approx. 120 gallon reef-ready 'Eurostyle' tank roughly 48" across. . . likely candidates so far are Lee Mar or Glass Cages. <Both fine manufacturers> However I live in L.A. and wonder what suggestions you can give toward custom 'overbuilding' of the tank and/or stand? <Mmm, a good idea to "brace the stand in all three dimensions"... that is, to attach the stand/support itself to the wall/s, floor... with brackets, and "box the tank in" with wood doweling... the tank itself, if you're more to very concerned, better to have made of acrylic versus glass> I'm looking to go with glass. . . can't seem to keep acrylic in good shape. What glass thickness would you recommend? <Likely 3/8" with a half inch bottom max... the thickness becomes of less to no importance if the ground "really" moves... tossing the tank to the floor...> Is there extra bracing that should be done on the stand? <Oh yes... brackets, other wood on/around...> Or extra bracing on the top of the tank past the usual glass tie-ins for this type of tank? <Not of practical application here... doesn't add useful strength, blocks light, makes it a bear to work on/in the tank...> What's the view on earthquake straps for the stand or the tank itself? I'd be willing to sacrifice a certain amount of 'cosmetic' design or ease-of-use in favor of survivability. <Better to "buffer" against movement as mentioned above... such that the tank, stand "sway" with the movement of the house...> I know Glass Cages uses oak for their stands. . . not sure of materials for other manufacturers. . . <Most use pine or other conifer (cheaper), but there are folks that will make out of whatever you spec.> nor whether Glass Cages uses enough of this tougher-stuff to add beyond normal strength to the finished product. <They will/can if you request> Thanks to perusing other WWM factoids I now know to cut away the carpet under my future reef for a more 'sure footing'. Hopefully anybody in California who reads this will get the same idea. <Have lived in the State off/on since the late sixties... in Japan (where it really shakes often) before this...> Thanks for any thoughts on this. While I know nothing can keep a tank intact through a bad temblor, my goal is to make the middle-ground stuff survivable for my livestock and system. Chuck <Worth the risk/s IMO... Cheers, Bob Fenner> Glass or Acrylic Tank and Coralline Algae  9/3/05 Dear Crew, <<Hello Bob - Ted here>> I am planning an upgrade of my current reef from 300 gal (96x30x24) to 500 gal(108x42x26).<<Excellent>> The custom shops I have been talking to can do either glass or acrylic, but seem to prefer acrylic.  Have you had any experience removing coralline and other calcareous algae from acrylic panels?<<Yes. Frequent cleaning will prevent coralline from becoming a problem. And yes, acrylic is easier to scratch when you have to scrape the coralline off so stay ahead of the coralline growth>>  My fear is that I will buy the tank and in four or five years the viewing panels will be ruined from all the scraping to remove the algae.<<Badly scratched acrylic can be polished. Please see this link for information about tank materials http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tksstds.htm>> Thanks, Bob McCook <<You're welcome and good luck with the upgrade - Ted>>

Who makes the best tank? 8/31/05 Hey Crew! <Howdy> Who makes a better 55 gallon tank.  Oceanic or AGA?  Is there really an appreciable difference in the quality, design and durability of either?   I am planning on setting up a 55 gal. fish only marine aquarium.   I've heard some people say that the Oceanic product is a step up from the AGA and then I've heard that both Oceanic and AGA are now owned by the same company.  I've also been advised that the wet/dry filtration is the best way to go with a saltwater application.  AGA offers a pre-drilled 55 gallon tank (reef-ready) that would accommodate a wet/dry filter.  However, Oceanic only has a 58 gal reef-ready tank and I don't like the dimensions on it.  Its about a foot shorter in length than the AGA.   I want the dimensions of the AGA since it will be a fish only and not a reef tank and I believe the longer tank is more fish friendly and would allow me to house more fish.   The option I am considering is to have a special order or customized pre-drilled 55 gal. Oceanic tank with the dimensions I am seeking.  I was also told that the pre-drilled tank with the wet/dry filter could be put up against a wall whereas that would not be possible with a non-drilled tank. This is an important consideration due to space limitations.  So in summary: 1.  Which is the better tank?  Oceanic or AGA.  What makes one stand out from the other and is the difference really appreciable? 2.  Assuming that wet/dry filtration is the best method of filtration for a 55 gallon marine tank, should I get a pre-drilled tank.  This being said, is it possible to get a customized pre-drilled 55 gallon Oceanic tank with the dimensions I want.   Thank you for you invaluable input and advice. Gary <Who makes a better tank? For an aquarium of only 55 gallons with those particular dimensions you don't necessarily need to be too overly concerned. Both companies make good aquariums that will last several years. If you were ordering a 550 gallon aquarium it may be a different story. Go with the company who has the better price, warranty, customer service or maybe even the sexiest phone voice. Regarding your second question of tank filtration please read this: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm ...then reread it...And yes, you should get it drilled with a built in overflow box and yes, it is possible to get a pre-drilled 55 gallon Oceanic tank with the dimensions you want. Simply have your local fish store call them and put the order in for you. Gary, consider focusing more of your time/energy into reading up on the proper filtration methods/methodologies of marine aquaria rather than being too caught up in who makes the best 55 gallon aquarium. Good luck Gary!! - Ali> Second Floor Tank Size 8/21/05 Hey guys, <Howdy, Ali here...> I am a budding marine aquarist who is planning to set up a 55 gallon tank in my 2nd floor apartment.  A concern I have, being on the 2nd floor, is the weight-bearing capacity of the floor.  I've heard from other credible sources that you could basically put a 55 gallon tank anywhere and that the weight shouldn't be an issue.  What do you guys say. <Shouldn't be of too much concern as long as your apartment building has met all the building flooring codes> I really appreciate your help.  Should I get a smaller tank, a 45 gallon or less.  My other question is are glass tanks more prone to leaking than acrylic?  I'm leaning towards getting an Oceanic glass tank or an AGA tank.  Again, I truly appreciate your help. Gary <The standard 55 gallon tank has horrible dimensions for a saltwater or reef tank (way too narrow). Consider setting up a 40 gallon breeder or a standard 50 gallon (the 50 will be a better choice if you plan on utilizing a 3-5" fine grain sand bed). Both have great surface area and are easy to work with along with being very reef 'friendly'. I personally prefer glass tanks and have never had any leak on me. AGA and Oceanic both make solid products, I highly doubt you will have issues with yours, especially if you stick to a 40 or 50 gallon sized aquarium. Good Luck Gary!-Ali> Dismal spelling, looking for tanks in/about L.A. 8/15/05 hi..... how can i find distributors/wholesalers of glass aquariums in the los Angeles area? i am a breeder and am in need of about a dozen new tanks and will need more in the not-too-distant future. i have been going thought the search engines for 2 days with any luck finding local manufacturers or distributors. they MUST be here. thank you so much. pat. <... I would contact Lee-Mar in N. San Diego re... they manufacture both glass and acrylic tanks... Bob Fenner>

Re: tanks and thanks 8/15/05 thank you bob. from what I'm NOT finding online..... my approach is going to be to visit shops and see who's  MAKING the tanks these days and try to contact them. the old names i knew from years ago are gone now. i forgot about lee-mar. good tip. thank you again. pat. <And if you have time... a need for enough tanks... consider making them yourself... or buying used... I'd canvas the LFSs about, maybe place a cheapy ad in the local papers... Bob Fenner> So-called "Reef-ready" aquariums 7/30/05 I was just introduced to the term "reef-ready" by Jeff at LifeReef.   <The term is laughable to many experienced aquarists. I find these aquariums tend to be minimalist yet overpriced. Normally have inadequate water flow capabilities too. Check our WWM archives and those of big message boards like Reef Central for the term/phrase. You will read more details for concerns about such displays> I understand it is basically corner overflows inside the tank. <Yep> Jeff suggested this set-up was fairly industry standard for advanced, professional set-ups.   <I respectfully disagree. And I have nothing to sell you by the way. Even my books are so low profit as to be no significant motivation. Heehee... unless I really needed a dollar badly <G>>> I find no mention of reef-ready tanks in Robert's book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.  Why not?   <Check the copyright my friend... things change in time and books pay poorly yet are expensive to produce ;)> I found some references to reef ready aquariums at   http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-01/gt/index.htm  , which also suggested this was an excellent set-up.   <OK> Please comment on whether or not I should be specifying, "reef-ready" when I purchase a 220 gallon cold (50-55 degree) saltwater tank for installation at the Pioneer's Home in Sitka, Alaska. <Just check the math yourself my friend... a 1" bulkhead can handle 300 gph quietly, 600 gph noisily (unless modified ala Durso or Mega). So... for a 220 gallon aquarium that needs conservatively 10-20X turnover of flow (most reefers do much more than this). 4000pgh adds up to a whole lot of 1" bulkheads which none of the so-called "reef-ready" tanks have. So, that leaves us with a small pump running a weak (and quiet - that's good) loop of around a 1000 gph through 2-3 standard drain holes in a sump loop. You can do this... but at least need to drill one larger hole for a 2" bulkhead, for example, to tap a pump into the display proper for a closed loop to do the bulk of the water movement needed in this tank. That's presuming that you are willing to return the water from the 2" line fed CL pump over the top of the aquarium as in a perimeter manifold (see the thread on CL perimeter manifolds stickied at the top of my forum at reefcentral.com for a long list of threads on this topic).> All specimens will be from local waters and the rock will be as alive as it can be.   <wow... fascinating. Truly so :)> Thanks, Kris Calvin <You do know that it is illegal to collect the cnidarians, yes? Above all... obey the fishing license regulations. Best of luck, Anthony> Sump Stuff 7/24/05 Dear Mr. Fenner (or other great crew members) I was reading through some articles on sumps and being new to this particular subject I was thinking about something. Currently I have a 30g reef (about 2 months old) and am using a spare ten gallon tank as an outside plenum filter.  I was going to also use this to house my equipment.  But I noticed that all of the sump plans on WWM  have separate compartments for every thing. <Yes... easier to maintain constant water flow, compartmentalize functions...> Rather than ruin my plenum, I thought I might as well just get another tank/tub for another separate sump for the equipment and other filtration means.  I would put this one before the plenum to keep it clean.  Would this work better than ripping the plenum out and decreasing it's area by cramping it into a baffle system? <IMO, yes> Also what would you recommend, to buy a sump or put one together? <Either>     One other question that's slightly related...  A while back you gave me (potentially) life saving advice on installing a double pump sump return system.  (Thanks for that!)  I have decided that if I want to become more serious about my hobby I should move out of my very old 30 gallon and buy a new tank that has a built in drain system.  I might go bigger but right now I just want a good aquarium.  Any suggestions?  Personal favorites?  Brand preferences?  Any and all help will be appreciated.     Thanks for everything, Andrew <Most all mainstream manufacturers products are fine... just make sure you get the size, number of plumbing holes/lines you want for now and potential upgrading later. Bob Fenner>

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